What is the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?

judge bangs gavel

The Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) program offers first-time DUI offenders the opportunity to make a fresh start and the possibility of dismissal of charges and the expungements of their arrest record upon completion of the program. However, Pennsylvania will not let just anyone participate in the ARD program. For more information, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh first DUI lawyer. Some questions you may have include:

Who qualifies for the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?

As alluded to above, a defendant will have to meet various criteria to participate in the ARD program. In particular, the defendant:

  • Can’t have any prior convictions
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and insurance policy
  • Must not have had a minor in their vehicle at the time of their apprehension and arrest
  • Must not have caused an accident that lead to serious injuries or death

What are the provisions of the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?

Once enrolled in the ARD Program, the defendant must complete the following provisions:

  • Court Reporting Network alcohol evaluation interview, to determine if a defendant needs further evaluation for substance abuse
  • Attendance in Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • A probationary period of between six and twelve months
  • Full drug and alcohol assessment, if the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.16 percent or higher (or if the Court Reporting Network interview indicated a need for further evaluation for counseling and treatment)
  • A suspension of their driver’s license
  • Restitution to any person who suffered a financial loss, such as in a drunk driving accident that involved property damage
  • Payment of fees, surcharges or costs associated with Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • A period of community service
  • Any other condition the court orders

How long will the court suspend my license while participating in the ARD Program?

The duration for which your license may be suspended will depend on the circumstances of your arrest. To start, if you had a blood alcohol content of .10% and were not driving with a minor in the vehicle, there is no driver’s license suspension. If your blood alcohol content was between .10% and .16%, you will face a 30-day license suspension. If you had a blood alcohol content over .16% or there were other aggravating factors, you will face a sixty-day license suspension. Finally, if there was a minor present, you can face up to a ninety-day suspension of your driver’s license.

How much does Pennsylvania’s ARD Program cost?

Each county sets its own costs for the ARD program, but participants usually pay around $2,500, though it can be as low as $1,000 or as high as $3,000.

Can you expunge a DUI from your criminal record in PA?

Please bear in mind that successful completion of the ARD program does not guarantee the dismissal of your charges or the expungement of your DUI. To receive those benefits, you should speak with a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer to discuss strategies.

Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

If you are facing a DUI charge, contact The Law Offices of George Heym to schedule your free initial consultation.

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